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(2nd LD) Court denies arrest warrant for prosecutor linked to political meddling scandal

All News 23:11 October 26, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS court's remarks in para 4)

SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- A court denied Tuesday an arrest warrant request for a prosecutor alleged to have conspired with the main opposition party to investigate pro-government figures when opposition presidential contender Yoon Seok-youl was in office as prosecutor general.

Prosecutor Son Jun-sung has been accused of asking a prosecutor-turned-lawmaker of the main opposition People Power Party to file complaints against key ruling camp officials last year. He is currently under investigation by the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO).

The Seoul Central District Court denied the CIO's request to arrest Son on Tuesday night after questioning him earlier for over two hours.

The court cited insufficient grounds for his arrest. It is difficult to view him fleeing or destroying evidence, and he has committed to sincerely cooperating with the investigation, the court said.

The CIO said it has repeatedly asked Son to appear for questioning, but he has been uncooperative, offering "unconvincing reasons" for rejecting the summons requests.

Investigators in charge of the case reportedly confirmed Son's involvement after a team analyzed a massive trove of digital data and documents obtained from a whistleblower and the Supreme Prosecutors Office.

The warrant rejection is widely seen as acting in favor of Yoon.

The CIO has booked Yoon on multiple charges, including abuse of power, in its probe into the scandal.

Yoon has denied involvement in the case. His campaign has criticized the CIO move as political maneuvering to undermine support for Yoon ahead of the PPP primary.

Prosecutor Son Jun-sung (C) appears at the Seoul Central District Court to attend a hearing on his arrest warrant request on Oct. 26, 2021. (Yonhap)


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